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What's the Controversy About the Baby T. Rex Listed on eBay?



The partial skeleton of a baby Tyrannosaurus rex is for sale on eBay for nearly $ 3 million. And while it's anyone who knows (if anyone) will buy the "king of the dinosaurs," the seller is certain of one thing: The specimen will inevitably end up in a museum, he said.

"I'll guarantee you it will "eventually land in a museum, Alan Detrich, a sculptor and professional fossil hunter in Kansas who is auctioning the T. rex customs Live Science. According to Detrich, at the billionaire purchases the specimen, he or she will likely – for tax purposes – gift the dinosaur to a museum one day.

In that case, "everybody is happy because the [ T. rex ] is a museum, and the billionaire got patted on the back and rode off into the sunset on the back of a dinosaur, "Detrich said. [In Images: A New Look at T. Rex and Its Relatives]

Detrich listed the baby T. rex on eBay on Feb. 26, and the paleontological community has been in an uproar ever since. Legality has nothing to do with the anger. Detrich's brother Bob found the beast's fossilized bones near Jordan, a town in eastern Montana, in 201

3. Detrich was leasing the land, which was private property, meaning anything found on the land belonged to Detrich.

Rather, paleontologists are upset because If you are a private individual with the baby dinosaur king, that person is under no obligation to share with the scientists who are nobody to study juvenile T. rex specimens. Moreover, even if the predator's remains were installed or made available for study, most paleontologists don't like to study fossils unless they're donated, meaning the specimen would be available for study in perpetuity, and not just when the owner feels like making it accessible

That's exactly what happened in 2016, when privately owned, 120-million-year-old specimen from Brazil drew controversy: A group of scientists called it the first four-legged snake on record, and Another group announced that it wasn't a snake at all, but probably a dolichosaur, an extinct snake-like marine lizard. It is anyone's guess what the creature really is, as the specimen's owner has declined to let anyone else study the fossil.

After digging up the bones, Detrich immediately knew they were a theropod (a group of bipedal, mostly meat-eating dinosaurs), but he didn't know it was a T. rex until he took it to Peter Larson, a paleontologist and president of the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in South Dakota.

Excited, Detrich took the fossils home to Kansas and cleaned them up. Then, an honor of his late mentor, Larry Martin, a vertebrate paleontologist and curator of the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas, he lends it to the museum.

"In honor of Larry, I thought it would be a Good thing if I loaned this thing to the museum, "Detrich said. "They could study it, they could show thousands of people this specimen, and they have." Paleontologists contacted by Detrich looked at the bones and estimated that the dinosaur, initially named "Baby Bob" and later "Son of Samson," was about 4 years old when it died during the late Cretaceous, about 68 million years ago. [Gory Guts: Photos of a T. Rex Autopsy]

But after Son of Samson was on display for two years, Detrich fell like "I did my fair share of giving," and he posted it on eBay for $ 2.95 million. He didn't initially tell the museum about his plans, but when museum officials found out, they asked that they remove their names from the eBay posting, so they wouldn't be associated with the auctioning of dinosaur fossils.

In a statement museum director Leonard Krishtalka said, "The KU Natural History Museum does not sell or mediate the sale of specimens to private individuals. Thus, the specimen on exhibit-loan to us has been removed from exhibit and is being returned to the owner We have asked that the owner remove any association with us from his sale listing. "

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology also decried the sale: "Vertebrate fossils are rare and often unique," the society said in a statement. "Scientific practice demands that conclusions drawn from the fossils should be verifiable: scientists must be able to reexamine, remeasure and reinterpret them (such reexamination can happen decades or even centuries after the fact)."


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